Tag Archive: climatechange

  1. Meet the Speaker: Toby Strong

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    Toby Strong is a multi-Emmy and Bafta winning wildlife cameraman, who has worked on many of the BBC’s landmark series throughout his career. Over the last 25 years Toby has travelled across every continent, from crossing the Sahara with camels to sailing to the Galapagos, from the Himalayas to the ice caves on the peak of mount Erebus in Antarctica.

    As someone who has seen the beauty of this world but also its demise, Toby cares very deeply and his talk is full of passion, extraordinary tales, humour, and heart. Read on to find out about Toby's greatest inspirations and what you can expect from his upcoming talk, Through a Wild Lens.

    Tell us a bit about your background – have you always been interested in wildlife photography and the environment?

    I grew up in the Dorset countryside searching for adders, badgers and fossils.

    My love of the natural world and wild places stems from my gran who was a gardener and great naturalist, and my gamekeeping father. After getting a very bad degree in engineering I developed an early passion for exploration and a love of beauty.

    I spent a year in the south of France doing an apprenticeship with a wonderfully creative and forward-thinking Danish film maker. We made films on insects, snakes, and lizards. He was both a great naturalist and great naturist, the days were long and eventful!

    In the last 25 odd years I’ve had the privilege to film on every continent and in most environments. I’ve been lucky enough to work on a lot of the big wildlife series over the last couple of decades (Planet earth 2 and 3, frozen planet 2, One strange Rock, Human planet, blue planet 2, etc).

    For nearly half a year, I followed the mountain gorillas of Uganda and Rwanda and a season walking with the black bears up on the Canadian border. I've been lucky enough to film and share amazingly intimate time with hugely emblematic species, nearly two decades filming the Elephants of East Africa. Worked with the cheetahs of the Masai mara on big cat for four series.

    I love working in different genres and bringing skills and techniques from documentaries, music and drama into my filming.


    What inspired you to get into wildlife cinematography?

    Initially I led expeditions, before heading to Africa on a one-way ticket, where I wanted to live as a game warden and to show people the magic of our natural world.
    Then I was introduced to photography and through my love of this newfound passion I realised I could reach so many more people and my path shifted to the one I’ve been lucky enough to be on for the last quarter of a century.

    You have been to some incredible places over the course of your career, are there any experiences which have stood out for you?

    It’s so very hard to pick favorites ... East Africa never releases its hold on me, and any dawn spent waking by a fire with the distant roar of lions is a good day! Also, Antarctica for its sheer magnitude and brutal splendor has got to be a favourite. On my last trip for welcome to Earth, I got to spend time in the ice caves on top of mount Erebus which was utterly unique.

    Throughout your career, you have witnessed firsthand the environmental challenges facing our planet, are there any causes that are particularly close to your heart, and have you made any changes in your day-to-day life to try and address them?

    I find this a hard question; I have seen much of the world that is in crisis and a lot that is now too late.

    It is hard for individuals to know how to make a difference. But it is through the individual that change is happening. Through our buying choices it is dictating the food on our shelves, packaging, and choice. If we choose not to buy food in plastic... food will not be sold in plastic, it’s that simple. If we only buy free range eggs, only free-range eggs will be farmed. Through our buying choices, those in power see what us the individuals, the people, the voters consider important, and this is what will then be acted on.

    Also, something that is very close to my heart is our school we have built in Madagascar. Over the last couple of years, we have gone from no school to one with over 200 students and three full time teachers. It’s a really good news story and something I’m very proud of.


    What can audiences expect from your talk?

    I hope everyone who comes will have an evening of tales from the wilderness. Stories of wonderous animals and people. A heartfelt talk I can guarantee, humour I can aim for but with less certainty of delivering!

    I am no expert in any field, but I have been blessed to see much of this world and I look forward immensely to sharing tales from the last 25 years.

    Raising awareness about environmental issues is clearly something you are very passionate about, is there a take home message that you would like audiences to come away with?

    Yes, I would echo my answer from earlier that people’s buying choices hold immense power when viewed as a collective whole.

    This tiny planet of ours is so very precious and our time on it is but a beat of a mosquito’s wings. Let’s smile and hug those we love and take more joy in this remarkable place we call home.

    Toby Strong: Through a Wild Lens comes to Exeter Phoenix on Mon 13 June at 8pm. Get your tickets here >>



    Exeter Phoenix are proud to host this extraordinary series of artworks on the façade of our building that function both as alternative Christmas lights and as urgent reminders of the steps we all need to take in tackling the climate crisis.

    LOVE IS THE HIGHEST ECONOMY is a series of low voltage LED, illuminated text sculptures, originally installed by Still/Moving at different locations around Glasgow for the duration of the recent COP26 conference. The works were made with various community groups around the country during 2021, as well as indigenous representatives and leaders, and with delegates at COP itself.

    Here, they are presented together for the first time as a message of hope and caution at a time of year when ideas of peace, goodwill and love come into tension with conspicuous consumption and excess.


    Still/Moving is composed of three artists, Laura Hopes, Martin Hampton and Léonie Hampton, who met when they were 13. Living in Devon, UK, their collective practice aims to create social and ecological change through questioning established modes of thinking and behaviour. Projects are developed through a process of collaborative and participatory dialogue and activity among each other and with partner communities. Inspired by the artist Louise Bourgeois who said ‘It is not about the medium, it is about what you are trying to say’, their work emerges in diverse forms, including sculpture, film, photography, performance, installation, the spoken and printed word.

    Léonie has an internationally acclaimed fine art practice. She studied Art history, specialising in contemporary European and American art, and is a part time MA Photography tutor at LCC London. Martin is an award-winning filmmaker who co-founded Squint/Opera with architect Will Alsop. He studied Architecture at The Bartlett, UCL, specialising in speculative designs for extreme locations such as the moon and intertidal zones. Laura is an artist and AHRC funded PhD candidate, whose research project focuses upon the relationship between climate change and colonisation.


    LOVE IS THE HIGEST ECONOMY comes from the powerful and moving words written and performed by the author Ben Okri with his partner Charlotte Jarvis on the penultimate day of COP26 in Glasgow.

    You can read Ben Okri’s performance speech in full here.


    Green meadows, Nottingham

    IT’S STARTED resonates with the Green Meadows values as we recognise there is strength in every individual to make change happen. ‘IT’S STARTED’ also expresses the sense of urgency towards the rising temperatures and how we need to act now.

    “Tackling climate change can feel an impossible task as an individual and many of the community members we engage with are waiting for changes to start on a national scale. The Green Meadows project aims to empower Meadows residents to take immediate, local action, and tackle climate change together.”

    Heather Hodkinson, Community Engagement Officer, Green Meadows



    Our Streets Chorlton, Manchester

    Ripple Effect is a phrase that was coined by the fantastic School Champions in Chorlton; a group who have brought together an entire community of parents, guardians, teachers and local residents, having turned an initial conversation into tangible climate action.

    “With a focus on improving our streets outside of our schools, the School Champions Network have pushed for safer, healthier and greener journeys for families when dropping off and picking up their kids from school. Change starts on our doorsteps and in our communities, and the Our Streets Chorlton’s School Champions have proven that with purpose and a desire to make change, one idea can turn into activity across an entire area.

    Our Streets Chorlton is a community-led climate action project in the heart of south Manchester. We are here to start a conversation, one centred on how local people can help to reduce carbon emissions by enabling Chorlton people to reduce local and short car journeys.”



    Bude Climate Partnership, Devon

    “Remote, peripheral and perched on the North Atlantic shore, Bude is exposed to the force of thousands of miles of steadily rising ocean and increasingly fierce winter storms hitting its shoreline, putting it very much ON THE EDGE – physically and metaphorically – of the sharpest impacts of climate change.

    As the most sensitive location in the UK to sea-level rise, our challenge as a community is to find ways to protect our town, our way of life and our cherished coastline, parts of which are currently retreating at a rate of a metre a year, while also reducing our own impacts on the climate crisis.”

    Bude Climate Partnership has united community and environmental groups in working together to make positive changes that will ensure our town, its surrounding communities and landscapes have a long and safe future ON THE EDGE of Cornwall, Britain and the sharpest impacts of the climate crisis.’



    “Article 8 of the Paris Agreement outlines the responsibilities of countries to take action on loss and damage. Addressing loss and damage stands alongside mitigation and adaptation as a fundamental pillar of climate action. But despite signing on to the Agreement, the wealthy countries who contributed the most to causing loss and damage are still unwilling to provide the finance and support needed to address it.”

    During this COP Scotland become the first rich country to publicly contribute to Loss and Damage by giving 1 million. Over the following days at COP other countries are also finally rising to this responsibility and paving the way for reparations.


    “Originally conceived in a pilot project with #LetterstotheEarth and #WeGlimpse aimed to link the G7 meeting in Carbis Bay to the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow. Through conversations on the street and workshops, we wanted to find out what local people felt needed to be said. People expressed there need TO BE HEARD. In COP 26 partnering with LTTE (Listening to the Land Pilgrimage) Still/Moving showed this work at to Kelburn Castle on Sunday the 7th November where many Indigenous elders and Delegates from Vulnerable countries are hosted along with the pilgrims.”


    This seminal phrase is key to the work of environmental lawyer Farhana Yamin: “Justice Reset” is a unifying demand to COP26. It gathers all constituencies whose call for climate justice and just transition recognises the need for a complete overhaul of the existing system by shifting resources and political power to those with less.